Ghoulish Party Ideas
Avoid the standard Halloween party and try some new themes
by Clark Humphrey
Halloween's often thought of as a time to celebrate the decaying, the decrepit, the rotting and the oozing.
But that doesn't mean your own Halloween party has to be the same-old same-old.
Instead of the standard crepe-paper pumpkins and cardboard-cutout witches, why not try a special party theme? Be as mild or as wild as you like; encourage your guests to get up in appropriate costumes; let your imagination run.
THE YEAR 2000
As the host, greet your guests dressed as a "Y2K bug" or like Conan O'Brien's "In the Year 2000" skits (a black choir robe and a flashlight pointed to your own face).
Show videos of "2001," the TV show "Millennium," or "Space 1999." Ask guests to appear as their favorite future-predictor (Kreskin, Criswell, a carnival fortune-teller, Dionne Warwick, etc.).
Offer snacks based on Y2K survivalist foods (canned goods, crackers, beef jerky, Army M.R.E.s, etc.).
Turn your basement, garage, community center, church meeting room, etc. into a pseudo-UFO with white construction-paper "walls," surplus computers and electronic gear, outer-space posters, earth and moon globes, and a snack table covered in aluminum foil.
Costumes could include "Star Trek" characters, Barbarella, robots, or egg-shape-headed alien-abduction-story aliens. A dance contest could invite participants to fake weightlessness.
THE PAST MILLENNIUM
Instead of looking to the future, celebrate the past. Have everybody come dressed as their favorite person from the past 1,000 years. Label your snacks and beverages as if they were historical fare (absinthe, grog, salted beef, wild boar). Hold a historical-trivia contest.
SCARY (REAL) PEOPLE
Invite everybody to appear as the scariest real person, past or present, they can think of. Expect to meet and greet a lot of make-believe politicians, movie and TV stars, pop singers, and maybe even a software executive.
Also expect some guests making fun of people other guests might not think deserve to be made fun of; so don't try this if your friends are of the overly-sensitive sort.
Many other possibilities abound. You could have everyone come as their favorite movie or cartoon characters. You could do a cross-generation party (have the kids dress as grownups and the grownups as kids). Or a Roaring '20s party, an old-west party, a Renaissance party, or any time and place that ever was (or was ever dreamed about).